If all goes according to reports, your new Oscar host could be appointed as soon as today—and your poor, bedraggled Oscar telecast could be on its way to better times.
Here's why Eddie Murphy would be a very good thing for the Academy Awards:
1. He's Raw. It's been a million years since he did stand-up. It's been almost as long since he stood on the Saturday Night Live stage. Did you say that makes him rusty? Wrong. It makes him a draw. Who doesn't want to know if all those family-friendly flicks have dulled his edge—or only made him that much more eager to carve into everybody (like, say, the voters who denied him his Dreamgirls Oscar)?
2. He's Not Jon Stewart: He won't clash with the red-carpet shows, and/or the presenters and nominees designed to pull in the Oprah (or, now, Ellen) crowd. In other words, he's a Movie Star, capitals M and S, who broadly appeals to both women and men.
3. He's Not James Franco: Just because it's a belabored point, doesn't mean it's not a true point. The Oscar hosting gig has nowhere to go but up.
4. He Could Help Out on The Help: The best-seller turned box-office hit is sure to get nominations; it's just as sure to draw heat for its "benevolent white supremacy" (as it already has, in those words exactly). Any good host would mine the controversy for laughs; an African-American host could make the laughs hurt so good.
5. He'll Hypnotize Academy Members to Nominate Alan Rickman and Bill Condon: We have no idea if Murphy can actually do this, but it'd be nice for him and his TV ratings if he could. An Oscars with top-flight contenders from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Breaking Dawn is an Oscars that's going to matter to people who didn't see The Queen, couldn't have cared less about The King's Speech, and, Meryl Streep or no, aren't going to fall for the British-celebrating trifecta by buying tickets to The Iron Lady.